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Mar 7, 2019
Los Angeles Kings
Mar 9, 1991
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<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>AndrewLadd</b></div><div>Dang that’s awful, I hope all these prospects are able to overcome the injuries</div></div>
Heh, you and me both. From an optimistic point of view, though, things seem to be moving forward.
Vilardi had a full NHL season last year. Played as the 2C, but showed some conditioning issues that he struggled with late in games. That conditioning is likely due to missing almost all ice time in two key development years. As a fellow King fan said above, he was named the MVP of the preseason for LA by the coach. Watching him, he looked to have gained a step and wasn't fading in games like last year.
Turcotte is a stud when he's playing. His injury history has me concerned, but when he's playing, he's a difference maker. Oozes skill. He doesn't have an NHL shot, but he'll be an extremely talented playmaker at the NHL level. And when Kaliyev is on his wing... he won't need to be the one scoring goals lol.
Kupari, like I said, is coming along nicely. He's on the borderline of the NHL/AHL and would be playing in the N if the roster didn't have plugs until the end of the year. Instead, he'll get 20+ minutes a night with Turcotte/****emo/etc.
Byfield is an NHL'r. The Kings looked like a completely different team when he was on the ice as opposed to after his injury. He brings a different dynamic when he's in the lineup, and shouldn't see anything more than a conditioning stint when healthy.
Toby is starting as a 2nd pair defenseman in his sophomore season. He looks good, we just need to try to coax more offense out of him.
Clarke returns to the OHL tonight after recovering from mono. First game back! So it doesn't sound like it was too serious of a case.
I'm a Kings fan, so I'm biased. But here's my quick take:
Rangers look to be in trouble with their development staff. One player might be a one-off, but with Kravtsov now asking out and being okay with playing in the AHL for any other team shows that there might be a disconnect between players, organization, and NHL/AHL goals. I'm also not a fan of how quickly they rushed Kakko to the NHL, and it definitely backfired on them with Lias Andersson.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, I have absolute faith in the fact that the Kings and Reign are aligned in how they want their prospects developing. They hired Wroblewski specifically to develop the prospects. However, there are two problems that have plagued the ability for prospects to reach the NHL for LA. The first is that the NHL roster has been littered with contracts like Lemieux, Wagner, Lizotte, Grundstrom, etc that don't expire until this year. The second is that the players that you discuss have all had significant injury history (which is a problem with luck, as well as maybe some disregarding of past history by Kings scouting staff).
-Vilardi missed SIGNIFICANT TIME due to his back injuries. We're talking nearly two full seasons of development. His first full NHL season last year was as a top-6 center, and he's going to be allowed to grow against more appropriate talent this year as the de-facto 3C. It's one of the reasons they brought in Danault.
-Turcotte, while yes in his D+3 missed significant time both in his D+1 year at Wisconsin due to injury and sickness, then proceeded to have more injuries in his D+2 in Ontario. He's only played 61 games in the past two years, the equivalent of one year in the AHL.
-Kupari tore his ACL at the 2020 World Juniors and missed over half a season as a result. He was able to get back last year and made his NHL debut after the deadline. He's coming along nicely.
-Byfield was actually going to make the team this year. MacLellan is on record saying the 4C spot was his before his injury. Look for him to have a conditioning stint in the AHL upon the healing of his ankle, and then I expect him to jump to the NHL and never look back.
<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>Xspyrit</b></div><div>Second time I say this today, but don't use hockey DB for players measurements... Brannstrom has been listed at 5'10 at every development/training camp with Ottawa. That's also the size you can see on Elite Prospects, Hockey Reference, etc
That being said, I haven't seen any Sens fan pushing this before... I might have missed some but actually 2nd time I see this and the first time it was a Kings fan IIRC.
It's ok if you don't want to do this, that doesn't diminish EB's value. He was 21 y/o last season, played in Europe while the NHL was on pause (did really well over there) then came back for the NHL season but caught covid, so there was a delay before he could start. IIRC he started in the AHL for a few games before playing full time in Ottawa. Artem Zub and him were actually the 2 catalysts that changed Ottawa's season because before they got in the lineup, the defense was absolutely putrid.</div></div>
I didnt use Hockey DB. CapFriendly themselves list him as 5'9". If he's an extra inch, then good on him. And honestly, I saw him a few times when he was still with the Vegas organization (had season tickets to the Tucson Roadrunners, so while Veags had a deal with another NHL team to have their prospects play in the AHL he came through a few times). I really did like what I saw, as he played a ton of minutes and skated really well. My point was simply that Brannstrom isn't what the Kings are looking for currently. And unfortunately for the Sens fans, the organization has done nothing to help his value or how he looks to those outside of the organization.
And there were a bunch of these a few weeks ago. It's been a bit since I've been logged on, as I've been away on travel. But I can try to go find a few of them if you'd like.